Corssposted from The Fallen World.
I ran across this newsweek article and after some head shaking, I broken heartedly have to agree with the author. Although I am not a Catholic (I am a non denominational Christian), I have seen this trend throughout evangelical churches as well. We have opted for the feel-good social justice approach while ignoring the root principles of Christianity. Namely that our job here on earth is to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel, call people to repentance, and put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Obama’s pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints) and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists. When Obama meets the pope tomorrow, they’ll politely disagree about reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, but Catholics back home won’t care, because they know Obama’s on their side. In fact, Obama’s agenda is closer to their views than even the pope’s.
This is a shame. Have we lost our way so far that we can look the other way at someone who would allow a human baby to be born alive and not feel that child deserves to get medical attention? Will we really look the other way at the exportation of abortion through the Mexico City initiative because we happen to agree with the president that we should feed, clothe, and shelter the poor? Do we ignore what Scripture has to say about homosexuality and the sanctity of human life so that we can feel good about ourselves and our community service?
Apparently we do:
Yet polls bear out that American Catholics do not want to be told by the Vatican how to think. Despite the rhetoric of love and truth, the Vatican shows disdain (if not disgust) toward gays. But 54 percent of American Catholics find gay relationships to be morally acceptable, according to a 2009 Gallup poll.
If there is truly 54% of any group of Christians finding homosexual relationships morally acceptable, there is a total breakdown in the teaching of the church. This would also explain how someone with views like the president can garner support from within the faith community.
For Obama, respectful disagreement and a willingness to recognize differences was the animating spirit of the presidential campaign, and it was central to his Notre Dame speech. That is the kind of politics many Catholics practice. They’re tired of watching the church grasp frantically for control at the expense of truth and love. In America last November, it showed: 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama.
Interesting that this is the second time “truth and love” have been used to make a point contrary to Scriptural teaching. Start with love. We as people of faith are willing to show love to anyone. We do not hate homosexuals. We do not hate people who have abortions. We do not hate the president. We as Christians have a love for all of humanity. We know what God has said and done for us. We also know what is in store for those who love God and obey Him, and our heart breaks for those who choose to blatantly disobey Him. It is our love for mankind that drives us to reach out and try to find those who are lost.
We do this through the truths that have been revealed to us through God’s word.
As Christians, we take the Bible to be God’s word to mankind, inerrant in its entirety. We have a president who believes that MOST of the Bible is inerrant. I am also afraid that we have a large body of professing Christians that feel this way as well. In this case, all bets are off. We do not have the ability to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are true and which are not. We either accept it as a whole or we reject it as a whole. Truth is not relative. Either something is true or it is false.
There is a principle in Biblical study called hermeneutics. This is how it is determined which scripture is meant for us today and which scripture was meant for a certain people at a given time. For example, dietary laws were given to prevent the widespread death of people eating shellfish when there was no refrigeration and worked very well keeping God’s people alive. As a general rule of thumb (very condensed version): Dietary and ceremonial worship rules were meant for a specific group of people at a given time. Moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments, were meant for all people at all times.
Biblical truth is not subjective. If you walk down the middle of the highway because you believe there is no such thing as 18 wheelers, the truth is that they do exist. And eventually one is going to get you. Not believing in Biblical truth is going to be completely irrelevant when you are standing in front of your Maker. Going to church every Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian much like working in a garage every Saturday doesn’t make you a car.